How to stream the NRL Final Series for free

Chris Stead 23 September 2016

how to stream NRL finals

It’s one of the closest seasons in recent memory and you won’t want to miss a second of it no matter where you are in the world.

UPDATE: After a massive weekend of football, we now know that he Cronulla Sharks will take on the Melbourne Storm in the Grand Final this weekend. Don't miss a minute by using the services outlined below:

The final four NRL teams have revealed themselves: the Melbourne Storm, North Queensland Cowboys, Cronulla Sharks and Canberra Raiders. What an exciting penultimate round of footy we have in front of us. The Storm are the minor premiers; the best team across the 26 rounds and certainly the favourites for the prize. The Cowboys are the defending champions, and are fielding close to the same team that won last year - so they should be full of confidence, knowing they can do it.

But can these two champion sides counter the unique mix of age and youth, and the willingness to grind out a victory, found in the Cronulla Sharks? Whose players are looking to win the team’s first trophy in fifty seasons? Or can they repel the unscripted attacking flair of the Canberra Raiders, whose mix of size and athletic ability has seen the green machine rise to the top of the competition for the first time in two decades. It’s going to be fantastic!

While Foxtel and Channel 9 have the broadcast coverage all wrapped up, if you prefer your entertainment delivered through the versatility of the internet, there are four main means of streaming the NRL Final series online:

  • NRL Digital Pass: This subscription service is available through the NRL and is viewed via an app you download to your iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, Android tablet, Windows Phone, PC or Mac. It offers live NRL matches, as well as in-match scoring highlights, live press conferences and full match replays. You can pay by the week for a fee of $2.99, and you get a one-week free trial when you sign up. So one week of membership will get you this week’s finals games, and if you then want to chip in $2.99, you can see next week’s Grand Final, too.
  • Telstra Footy Pass: If you are a Telstra customer, you may be eligible for its Footy Pass service for no additional cost. Streaming games live via the official app to a compatible iOS or Android mobile or tablet, it’s available to those with Telstra post-paid mobile plans or a Telstra consumer mobile broadband plan. The video data usage is also unmetered if you have a Telstra BigPond, ADSL, Cable or NBN plan, or if you have a Telstra mobile handset or tablet with a Telstra SIM. Plus, Telstra is offering free access to both the NRL and AFL Footy Pass apps if you sign up on a mobile plan. Note that data remains metered if you’re using international roaming.
  • Foxtel Go: There are two methods of being able to stream Foxtel and watch the NRL finals live. Existing Foxtel customers that have the sports package as part of their plan can stream the NRL finals for free via the Foxtel Go app. You simply download the app to your mobile or tablet, login to your Foxtel account, and you can watch any channel you are subscribed to on your main home plan.
  • Foxtel Play: This is Foxtel’s cloud-driven subscription service; as in, it gives you similar viewing options to the terrestrial IQ box, but without any installation required. The base plan is $25 and then it’s another $25 to include sport - so $50 to stream the NRL finals series seems a bit rich. However, guess who has a two-week free trial? So with only two weeks to go of the NRL final series, you can stream all the matches for free and then, should you no longer want Foxtel Play, cancel before the end of the trial.

What about the 9Now app?

Unfortunately, Channel 9 does not have the rights to stream the NRL games online. So even though you can usually stream live TV through this app, the NRL Finals series will come up as “streaming not currently available”.

Watching the NRL Finals Series if you are overseas

If you are overseas, finding a place to watch the big games can be a real pain. As an Australian resident, all of the available streaming options listed above are available to you, but are region locked and won’t work while you are overseas. Yes, even if you are a long-time paying customer.

The answer then is a Virtual Private Network or VPN. In today’s current online climate of poorly secured data and watchful government eyes, you should already have a VPN. It hides your location from the Internet and allows you to appear as though you are in whatever country your needs require. So using a VPN while overseas and choosing an Australian-based server will allow the streaming services to work. We have a full comparison to help you find the best VPN options; just be sure to choose an option that works on mobiles and tablets, where you are most likely to be streaming the games.

NRL Finals Starting Times and Team Lists

Friday 23/9/16 – Cronulla Sharks vs North Queensland Cowboys – 19.55pm
1 Ben Barba
2 Sosaia Feki
3 Jack Bird
4 Ricky Leutele
5 Valentine Holmes
6 James Maloney
7 Chad Townsend
8 Andrew Fifita
9 Michael Ennis
10 Matt Prior
11 Luke Lewis
12 Wade Graham (c)
13 Paul Gallen.

14 Gerard Beale
15 Chris Heighington
16 Kurt Capewell
17 Jayson Bukuya
18 Sam Tagataese*

* Battling to be fit, but there’s a small chance he could come in to replace Kurt Capewell before kick-off.

1 Lachlan Coote
2 Kyle Feldt
3 Justin O’Neill
4 Kane Linnett**
5 Javid Bowen
6 Michael Morgan
7 Johnathan Thurston (c)
8 Matt Scott (c)
9 Jake Granville
10 James Tamou
11 Gavin Cooper
12 Coen Hess
13 Jason Taumalolo.

14 Rory Kostjasyn
15 John Asiata
16 Scott Bolton
17 Ben Hannant

** Linnett is being given up to kick-off to prove his fitness, with youngster Kalyn Ponga on standby.

Saturday 24/9/16 – Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders – 19.50pm
1 Cameron Munster
2 Suliasi Vunivalu
3 William Chambers
4 Cheyse Blair
5 Marika Koroibete
6 Blake Green
7 Cooper Cronk
8 Jesse Bromwich
9 Cameron Smith (c)
10 Jordan McLean
11 Kevin Proctor
12 Tohu Harris
13 Dale Finucane.

14 Kenneth Bromwich
15 Tim Glasby
16 Christian Welch
17 Ben Hampton
20 Matthew White***
21 Felise Kaufusi***

*** Two players to be dropped before kick-off and these are the most likely.

1 Jack Wighton
2 Edrick Lee
3 Jarrod Croker (c)
4 Joseph Leilua
5 Jordan Rapana
6 Blake Austin
7 Aidan Sezer
8 Junior Paulo
9 Josh Hodgson
10 Shannon Boyd
11 Josh Papalii
12 Elliot Whitehead
13 Iosia Soliola.

14 Kurt Baptiste
15 Luke Bateman
16 Paul Vaughan
17 Joseph Tapine

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